LGBT Center Anniversary

HELPING STUDENT FIND THEIR VOICE FOR 40 YEARS

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

This year is all about traditions and anniversaries. Alongside the University’s 150th and the Centennial Student Unions 50th celebrations, the LGBT Center hosted their 40thanniversary this past week.

Back when it was still Mankato State, the University became the second school in the nation to have a campus-based LGBT Center. In 1977, the “Alternative Lifestyle Center” was found with only a few student volunteers and a graduate assistant as part of their staff.

Now, the landmark LGBT Center has an independent office, a full-time coordinator, Jessica Flatequal, and hundreds of students who visit the Center each week.

One student, Graham Waitt, is especially thankful for the LGBT Center this year. As a nontraditional student who felt lost in school, he joined the LGBT Center and never looked back.

“I would not be who I am today without the people that I met simply by hanging out in the Center,” Graham mentions, “I think the biggest impact was that it helped me find my own voice that I didn’t realize I had. It helped me become a strong advocate and ally for the community that I now call home.”

Like many other students, Graham didn’t find the comfort of the LGBT Center right away. As a freshman on campus, he didn’t feel comfortable enough to go into the Center or to volunteer. When returning to Minnesota State Mankato after taking time off, he knew that he didn’t want to let a second chance pass him by. After meeting a close friend in Residential Life who ultimately invited Waitt to join her in the Center, he found himself visiting frequently and making friends.

“It was one of the best decisions that I ever made in college,” Graham said.

Joining the LGBT Center provides endless opportunities for students. For Graham, it’s given him the opportunity to get out in the community and give back. He’s been able to attend several LGBT conferences around the Midwest and was given chances to be a speaker at peer panels to educate the community on LGBT-specific issues. He also has had the privilege to help with campus Drag Shows and Mankato Pride.

Graham is not only an advocate for the LGBT Center and community, but an advocate for finding your true self.

“That’s what we all want in the end, right?” he stated.

To learn more about the LGBT Center on campus, visit https://www.mnsu.edu/lgbtc.

 

 

Greek Week April 9-13 Goes Beyond Fun Events

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

 

Next week’s Greek Week is more than just fun competition among chapters. Rather, the tradition stretching back to 1966 holds a special place in the hearts of the Fraternity and Sorority Life at Minnesota State Mankato.

For many, the week is starting to take on a new meaning.

“Greek Week is so important to our community because it’s the one week a year that we get to come together to celebrate each other and the hard work that we do throughout the year,” said Emma Thole, Panhellenic Council president.

While the week focuses on traditions and unity, it also spotlights the community’s values of friendship, leadership and service. Events during the week include a clothing drive where all donations collected go to the Salvation Army. In past years, over 1,000 items were collected. Other events include a cardboard boat regatta, a cookout, a lip sync competition and a Greek God/Goddess competition.

These are all events that have long been a part of Greek Week — traditions that will continue to live on in the spirit of togetherness.

“Traditions bring people together. They create a sense of unity and accomplishment between the organizations involved,” said Christian Brollier, vice president of Public Relations and Marketing for the Interfraternity Council.

Brollier says much of the community’s accomplishment comes from leadership.

“Fraternity and sorority life has many opportunities for you to get involved and become an effective leader—not just within our community, but also on campus,” he added.

That campus leadership is prominent as fraternities and sororities are one of the most involved groups on campus. Each year, they raise thousands of dollars for charity, complete over 5,000 hours of community service and achieve a GPA higher than the undergraduate average. Many of them are involved in other prominent campus organizations like dance marathon, student government and residential life.

Greek Week begins Monday, April 9 and concludes Friday, April 13. All of the week’s events are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of events and updates throughout Greek Week, follow @MaverickGreeks on Twitter and Instagram.

CSU Features Celtic Songs by Lehto & Wright

St. Patty’s Primer: Serendipity Music Series Welcomes Guitar Masters March 14

Just in time for a St. Patty’s Day primer, Minnesota guitar masters Lehto and Wright bring their traditional Celtic and American folk/rock sound to their first appearance with the Centennial Student Union Serendipity Music Series.

The duo’s free two-hour daytime performance will be Wednesday, March 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the CSU’s Lower Level Flex Programming Space.

According to Dirty Linen, the national newsfeed for folk and world music, Steve Lehto and John Wright are “.. among North America’s best practitioners of Anglo-Celtic folk-rock… wonderfully intricate, powerful guitar-driven music…”

Lehto and Wright’s accomplished twin guitar/mandolin approach features “unplugged” song sets ranging from Irish tunes to American spirituals. Their musical style, shaped by such influences as Jethro Tull, Miles Davis and King Crimson, challenges the boundaries of the traditional Folk genre.

The CSU’s ongoing Serendipity Music Series is a mid-day, mid-week, “street corner serenade” series that seeks to expose students, the campus and the Mankato community to a range of genres by Minnesota musicians. Lenny Koupal, coordinator of the series, said it was “serendipity” to come upon Lehto and Wright.

“Lehto and Wright came recommended by Tim Cheesebrow, a Twin Cities singer/songwriter who performed here in January,” Koupal said. “What a pleasant surprise to find Celtic music was in their wheelhouse and they were available for a daytime, pre-St. Patty’s gig. Two hours of free, top-notch tunes should help set the Irish mood and once-again expose our community to the wealth of talent among Minnesota musicians.”

 

 

Alumni Memories Sought; Centennial Student Union Plans 50th Celebration Homecoming Day, Oct. 7


The Centennial Student Union invites students and alumni to join its 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration on Homecoming Day, Saturday, Oct. 7.

Highlighting CSU reunion festivities during Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming Day 2017 activities will be an afternoon reception starting at 3:30 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Other days activities will be a morning light breakfast, an invitation to participate in the Homecoming Day parade, and an evening “family friendly” event.

Mark Constantine, director of the Centennial Student Union, said activities celebrating the student union’s 50th anniversary will begin at the start of the Fall 2017 semester and continue through Homecoming 2017.

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate,” Constantine said. “We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.”

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate. We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.” – Mark Constantine

Photos and memories can be shared on the CSU 50th Anniversary website, www.csu.mnsu/50thAnniversary. Shared memories will be displayed in a CSU Art Gallery exhibit from August through the Homecoming celebration.

“Maybe the CSU is where you met your life partner, found a lifelong Greek community or discovered a personal passion,” Constantine said. “We want to share your CSU memories.”

The CSU also is creating a 50th anniversary display that will be used in the CSU throughout the 2017-18 academic year as well as with the University’s planned Sesquicentennial traveling display. The CSU display will include a video timeline featuring CSU directors, key staff members and special guests.